While body distortion apps are abundant and popular in the market, and have the ability to turn you into a zombie (ZombieBooth), judge ones appearance (Ugly Meter) or alter ones’ appearance to extremes (Plastic Surgeon Simulator or FatBooth), the addition of one more that makes your selfie look thinner by 5 to 15 pounds seems to fit right in with the trend.
The SkinneePix app was developed by two local college professors and founders of PrettySmartWomen, Sue Green and Robin Phillips, out of their own desire to look slimmer in photos. In just two clicks, users can make their selfie look 5 to 15 pounds slimmer then share it with friends.
“People were always joking with us for years about getting out the ‘skinny lens’ when we took photos or asked us to ‘kill that picture’ because they didn’t like the outcome. We had an idea for an app and we needed to stop talking about it and do it,” Phillip said.
With the help of Tempe-based developers Dezapp, the co-founders designed SkinneePix to be simple and sharable. Once a photo is taken, facial recognition software identifies then triangulates the face below the ears, cheeks and chin, the user chooses how many pounds to shave off, filter, then boom! You’re slimmer.
Why they chose five to fifteen pounds? “We wanted to show a realistic image change, subtle but real, like you have slimmed down in the cheek and neck area,” Phillips explained.
The app is doing extremely well for almost a month on the market with over 20K downloads and 80K pictures taken – at a $0.99 sticker price, you do the math.
“We had no idea it would get the traction that it did!” Phillips exclaimed.
SkinneePix has been recognized in USA Today, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian and more, even Rachel Ray tried it out; what the co-founders didn’t expect was the backlash of criticism suggesting they are sending the wrong message about body image to the younger generation.
“SkinneePix was not designed to have people lose 15 pounds,” Phillips said. “We are by no means trying to minimize the body image issues that lead to health issues nor are we trying to draw people into losing weight. We have genuine concerns for parents that are dealing with kids with body image issues and empathize with those people. Our target market is 30 to 50 years of age and we would only want an adult to use this as an inspirational tool to get healthy or just have fun with it.”
Currently this app is only limited to slimming the face, with no plans for a full body shot, and Phillips plans to add a multi-face feature so you and your friends can appear slimmer in a group selfie.
The AZTB team took the app around for a sampling and the responses ranged from “I look emaciated” to “Oo! I like that!” and some uploaded their profile photo on dating sites-but all users viewed it as a fun app. Here are the team’s selfies at minus 15 pounds (left original, right -15lbs) can you tell a difference?
Phillips looks to share her experience about starting a business and raising capital with other women and encouraging them to go for it if they have an idea. Phillips said their raise, of an undisclosed amount, came from two angel investor groups (one in AZ and one in CA).
“I’m thrilled to share the knowledge I’ve learned and tell women to go for it, take an idea to the next step, put together a plan and find a good team to help you do it,” Phillips said.
The biggest lesson Phillips has learned from this experience “…to have confidence in my ability to take a chance, finding the money and going for it.”
Download the app from iTunes here
Download the app from Google Play
Photos provided by SkinneePix and Sue, the founder, is in the top picture.